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Salina City Commissioner Barb Shirley resigns

Published on -8/12/2014, 10:49 AM

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By Tim Horan

The Salina Journal

Due to situations she has encountered the past few months, Salina City Commissioner Barb Shirley on Monday announced her resignation from the commission.

Shirley said she has given her resignation a lot of consideration. "It has been my privilege to serve the past three years for the community that I love," he said. "The same community that has extended my family such generosity and friendship through the last several months. From day one, I have taken my role with the Salina City Commission very seriously.

"The city commission deserves someone who can fully commit as time demands. At this time, I can not," she said.

Shirley said she would work with the commission until a replacement can be selected.

"I will stay on until that transition is complete," she said. "I just can't continue my commission much longer."

Shirley served as mayor for the 2013-2014 commission. When she turned the mayor's gavel over to Aaron Householter last April, she said she wasn't expecting so many life changes.

"I had two job changes. I lost my son. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer," she said last April.

Her son, Scott Longoria, died at his home on March 18. He was 21. Her father, Joe Longoria, died a month later at home. Shirley says she'll stay on commission until 'transition is complete'

"I know you've gone through a lot personally," said Commissioner Jon Blanchard at the meeting. "I appreciate we were able to work together to find those common solutions."

Up to the commission

City Manager Jason Gage said it would be up to the commission to fill the vacancy. Gage said in the past former city commissioners who didn't want to run again were selected to fill a vacated position on the commission.

Three names were mentioned Monday, all of them former commissioners: Aaron Peck, Kristin Gunn and Abner Perney.

Shirley was elected to the city commission in 2011 receiving the highest number of votes and a four-year term.

LGBT supporter

Shirley, who has a gay son, was a big supporter of the LGBT protections that were passed by the city commission two years ago but repealed by the voters in November.

Shirley became the first Kansas mayor to sign on to Mayors for Freedom to Marry, a national group

that consists of more than 350 mayors.

Shirley first ran for the city commission in 2007 and finished fourth. She ran for the 1st District Saline County Commission seat in 2010, which was won by Randy Duncan.

City commission elections are in the spring of odd-numbered years. The top two vote-getters in the election win four-year terms, and the third-place finisher serves a two-year term. Thus, three commissioners are up for election every two years.

(c)2014 The Salina Journal

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